Summertime travel usually represents a long-awaited vacation, a highly anticipated break from the usual humdrum of everyday life. But sometimes, an emergency forces you to hit the road when you least expect it, travelling for a family emergency or funeral.
An unexpected journey under these circumstances can be hard on your nerves — and even harder on your finances. Between taking time off work and booking flights, your budget may be stretched to its limits.
Not sure how you can handle this financial burden on top of the incredible stress of your emergency? Here are some tips to help you get through this hard time.
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Assess the Situation
When faced with an unexpected trip, the first step is to gather information and assess the situation. Understand the urgency, duration, and potential expenses involved in your journey. Communicate openly with your family or close friends to gather all relevant details and determine the best course of action.
Take Stock of Your Options
Planes, trains, or automobiles — there are a lot of different ways to get where you need to go, and they all come with different costs. In most cases, driving your own car is the cheapest way to travel, provided it can handle the mileage.
However, a long road trip may take too long for urgent emergencies, so you might be stuck buying airfare. Take advantage of flight aggregates like Google, Kayak, and Expedia to find the best deals for your dates.
Make Use of Your Travel Rewards
If you’re part of any travel rewards or loyalty programs, now is the time to put them to good use! Check if you can redeem your rewards for flights, accommodation, or other travel-related expenses. Many credit card companies offer reward programs that can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs during unplanned travel.
Talk to an Online Direct Lender
If you’re just shy of what you need to afford an urgent trip to see family, you can get help from an online direct lender.
Online direct lenders offer quick and convenient applications that you can breeze through with just a few pieces of financial information. If you’re approved, a lender will deposit your funds into your account so that you can arrange your travel plans quickly. In some cases, you may even receive your loan within 24 hours.
An online loan can bridge the gap in your budget until you can get back on your financial feet. While every loan is different, most break up what you owe into multiple payments, so you don’t have to worry about paying everything at once when you get home.
To help you handle your payments on the other side of your emergency, check out these tips on loan management for advice. They’ll help you hit your due dates every time.
Seek Accommodation Alternatives
When money’s tight, it might be best to reach out to loved ones in the area to see if they have a guest bed or pullout couch. Staying with friends or family will significantly reduce your overall expenses.
However, if you can’t stay with someone you know, look for discounted rates at hotels or consider vacation rentals, as they often offer more affordable options for longer stays. You may also want to investigate hostels or couch surfing platforms.
Unplanned travel can be emotionally and financially draining, but with careful planning and resourcefulness, you can navigate these circumstances more effectively. By handling your finances wisely and seeking assistance when needed, you can focus on what truly matters during these difficult times.